By Funmi Emmanuel, Abuja.
World Bank says it will partner the federal and state governments to improve Public Finance Management and ensure effective delivery of government’s policies and projects.
The disclosure is contained in the World Bank Group Nigeria’s Country Partnership Strategy 2014 to 2017 report released on Wednesday in Abuja.
It said the partnership would help government to tackle the challenge of translating wealth into tangible welfare for the benefit of the population.
“While Nigeria has made notable progress over the last decade in building institutions for more effective and transparent management of public resources, major weakness still remain at all level of governments.
“Limitation in the quality and availability of statistics and other information constrain the efficacy of economic policies and the degree to which public officials can be held accountable.
“Corruption increases the costs of procurement and other areas of public policy,” the report said.
It said the World Bank would partner the Federal and State Governments in areas of investment, loan, development, policy, operations, communities’ practice and technical assistance.
According to the report, the bank in partnership with civil society would scale up monitoring and demand for the timely disclosure of quality information on public finance and policy.
“Supporting improvement in the quality and availability of statistics in core areas for economic policy, public finance and service delivery at the federal and state levels.
“Engaging with the government and National Assembly with the goal of facilitating communication and understanding on the federal budget,” it added.
It said this would help to bring change in the society and help government to be more accountable.
It commended the various reforms of some States and Federal Government that were geared toward improving public finance management.
Some of the reforms, it said, included progressive law in procurement, fiscal responsibility, more strategic budgetary planning among others.
It further said that the partnership would bring about many benefits, including facilitating more quality and timely information on public finance.
It added that other benefits included heightening activity of civil society in monitoring public finance and demanding relevant information.